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OnePlus 3 remains the best Android phone of the year
￼Sahil Mohan Gupta Sep 19, 2016, 02.40 PM IST
2016 has been a kind year for Android smartphones. I've had the pleasure of reviewing some great devices. In some cases, these phones were so good that I ditched my iPhone 6S Plus and shifted fully towards Android. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G5, Xiaomi Redmi Note and Mi 5 have been testament to this. However, if there's one phone that stands head and shoulders above the pack, then it has to be the OnePlus 3. I have been using the device as my secondary work phone for the last three months and it has been a delight to use. In many cases, it has out performed my personal iPhone and also often has lasted longer than it.
The thing that strikes me a lot about the OnePlus 3 is that it is such a fluid phone to use. Be it when you're taxing the phone to the full limits of its capabilities with heavy duty applications or regular day to day usage. In use even 3 months down the line - post the so called honeymoon period, this phone flies and is faster than any other Android phone in the market. It even gives the iPhone 6S Plus a run for its money. This is an area where most phones fall apart and eventually their true performance unravels.
OnePlus should be credited here because it has not only armed the phone with best possible hardware, but also offered clean software which has been updated at a brisk pace keeping the phone bug free and refined.
See, I am not the typical user. I stress test the phone in more ways than one. The phone will be pummelled with a volley of chat applications, email, music and camera use. I am an excessive user of the camera. I am a night owl and often post work, I am at a pub chilling with my friends, on a daily basis. This is where the camera is used heavily.
While most phones come undone in low-light performance, the OnePlus 3 manages to hold its own be it selfies, or stills from the rear camera. The only area where it disappoints is in the area of video recording as it sucks at capturing high decibel audio. Only the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S are consistently better than OnePlus 3 as a well rounded camera package, but then again they cost a good deal more.
Moreover, due to my unique use-case. The phone often runs out of battery during the day. That's not a knock on the phone per se, but it is just that I am out of home for more than 15 hours a day regularly. That's where the dash charger becomes a life saver. Be it my Xiaomi powerbank or the car charger, I end up with more juice on the OnePlus 3 by the end of the night as the iPhone 6S Plus charges at a slower clip and often is dead by 10PM.This is when the OnePlus 3 takes over as my main phone post 10PM. By the end of the night often it is the OnePlus 3 that use to call my guard to open the door for my house.
The screen on the OnePlus 3 is decent. It isn't a hassle per se and is perfectly usable. Smartphone vendors harp about beautiful screens. Samsung is particularly one which is known to hammer home its advantage in display technology, but after you stress test the phone for more than a month and there is the odd scratch, you start to ignore the novelty of a gorgeous screen. The big thing is like the iPhone 6S screen it gets the job done and isn't an impediment for anything. As a bonus, the phone comes with a scratch guard which gives me hope that the day I'd decide to change it I'd witness a completely scratch free screen.
The fingerprint scanner on the device is also one the best ones I've used. It is on par with the one on the iPhone 6S if not better. I actually like the oval/rectangular scanner which is recessed, unlike the one on the Galaxy S7 which is stiff.
Last but not the least is the fact that it has a sturdy, yet handsome body. This phone ages gracefully. My unit has taken the odd tumble and at closer inspection you can notice the odd ding and dent, but there's nothing that'd become a visual eyesore. The Galaxy S7 may be a prettier phone, but after using it for a month, I ended up with a cracked glass back, which is something I don't need to worry about on the OnePlus 3.
The end result is a phone which is likely to remain one of the best offering in the market even till the end of the year. Yes, Google is rumoured to be launching its Pixel phones, but if you've to go by what's rumoured on the specs front, the phone is unlikely to offer a vastly better experience than the OnePlus 3. Its leaked renders also indicate that it wouldn't be the most handsome phone around.
The amazing bit about the OnePlus 3 is that you don't need to bring its price into the equation to make an argument for it. Its price is actually one of the biggest selling points in its favour and yet, the phone is so good that I didn't need to speak about it. I rest my case.
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